10 Must-Book Tables at Denver's Top Restaurants

“Chandeliers and candlelit table define LeRoux’s elegant space. Even the bar gets candles as evening arrives. Several seating areas provide intimacy for a romantic occasion or simply a dinner at which conversing is not made impossible by the cacophony experienced at so many restaurants today. It feels a bit old school in that regard, a return to what fine dining used to be, yet it’s also casual and contemporary. Dishes are prepared meticulously, a perfect melding of complex and delicate flavors in an exquisite presentation. The chicken liver mousse might be the best in Denver, and if you want a show-stopper, go for the Wagyu beef tartare presented with a flourish of smoke. The saffrony bouillabaisse piled with mussels, scallops and octopus surprises with a tweak of peppery heat, and for those who love ChoLon’s soup dumplings, LeRoux’s French Onion short ribs provide a delicious reunion.”

10 Must-Book Tables at Denver’s Top Restaurants

Best Seat in the House: The Coolest Restaurant and Bar Bathrooms in Denver

The shared bathrooms inside the newly opened LeRoux and Cho77 were anything but afterthoughts. Covered with blue, hand-cut Italian tile and floral wallpaper and accented with copper details, the two unisex restrooms, by local design firm Semple Brown, are sure to be popping up on Instagram feeds all over town.

Best Seat in the House: The Coolest Restaurant and Bar Bathrooms in Denver

Lon Symensma’s LeRoux is an Escape off 16th Street

Times are changing on 16th Street, where, by the end of the year, a pair of decades-old neighborhood restaurants had closed and a pan-European destination opened up, looking more Parisian jewel box than Denver’s downtown Mall.

Lon Symensma’s LeRoux is an Escape off 16th Street

New LoDo Restaurant Brings European Decadence to Denver with LeRoux

Chef Lon Symensma has made quite a name for himself in Denver as a master of modern Asian cuisine with restaurants like Cholon and Cho77. As such, people might be surprised to hear that the focus of his next restaurant, LeRoux is entirely European. But European gastronomy is by no means outside his wheelhouse, for the first 11 years of chef Symensma’s career (he has been at it since he was 14), he cooked entirely European, working in restaurants across France and Spain.

New LoDo Restaurant Brings European Decadence to Denver with LeRoux

LeRoux Captures the Essence of Chef Lon Symensma's Culinary Journey

“Even if you’re not familiar with the term “mille-feuille,” you’ve probably eaten the French pastry. The phrase means “thousand-leaf,” which accurately describes the paper-thin layers of puff pastry that go into Napoleons and other labor-intensive desserts. Now imagine standing over a prep counter all day cutting mushrooms into equally fine slices, stacking them in a terrine and baking the terrine until the mushrooms form an almost solid loaf that’s sliced and served as an appetizer. Each layer comes apart to provide an intensely flavored bite of nothing but king trumpet mushroom, butter and salt.
That’s the kind of effort that goes into nearly every dish at LeRoux, chef Lon Symensma’s new French/European restaurant that opens tomorrow, December 28, next door to ChoLon, the chef’s eight-year-old, Asian-inspired eatery on the 16th Street Mall.”

LeRoux Captures the Essence of Chef Lon Symensma’s Culinary Journey

In the Kitchen with Lon Symensma

“Lon Symensma is a busy man these days. This past month alone, Symensma played musical restaurants, shuffling the three-year-old Cho77 out of its Broadway digs and replacing it with south-of-the-border restaurant, BorraCho Tacos. But worry not Cho77 fans—the street Asian food concept will soon reside next to its sister restaurant, ChoLon Modern Asian Bistro, later this winter. Speaking of ChoLon, the LoDo restaurant marked eight years in business this past October, celebrating with an all-out bash replete with endless bites and libations.”

In the Kitchen with Lon Symensma

20 Iconic Chefs in Denver & Boulder (in no particular order)

“In 2010, following a lucrative cooking career in New York City, Iowa native Lon Symensma arrived in Denver. His mission? Open ChoLon, a restaurant that symbolized the foods he’d experienced during his numerous eating expeditions throughout Southeast Asia and China. By his own admission, it took some time for ChoLon to resonate with Denver diners, but Symensma, idolized for his signature soup dumplings, poetic plate artistry, and fearless flavor combinations, persevered, eventually making ChoLon one of the most sought-after reservations in the city. Along with ChoLon, Symensma owns Cho77, a captivating lyric to the street foods of Southeast Asia. His latest venture, Concourse, is now open in the Eastbridge Town Center Stapleton development and he plans to open a casual Asian concept in Avanti later this summer. As for additional future projects, Symensma’s head is spinning with concepts: “I want to do a Mediterranean restaurant that follows the same idea as ChoLon, but instead of Southeast Asia, I want this to represent Spain, Italy, France, Greece, and Northern Africa. I’ve also got a Latin concept in the works that focuses on Central and South American cooking, and I’m planning on doing an elevated Middle Eastern concept.””

20 Iconic Chefs in Denver & Boulder (in no particular order)